Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Bike guy: "Wake up or get out of our way"

Fitzgibbons could have written the caption for this drawing

Morgan Fitzgibbons of the Wigg Party has some advice for those of us who doubt the wisdom of taking away a traffic lane and/or street parking on Fell and Oak Streets to make bike lanes: get out of his way. From his comment to a recent Bay City article on the issue:

"...The reality is that we have two very wide streets, and there is plenty of room for all modes of transportation along this corridor. If you are so concerned about moving 67,000 cars through this section every day, then you need to also be concerned about the thousands and thousands of cyclists who move through here every day (a number that would surely sky-rocket if any semblance of safe bike infrastructure were installed).

If you are truly concerned about this corridor being needed to move these people through, then the obvious answer is to take out the parking. If you balk at taking out parking then you are a hypocrite---why is it ok for sitting cars to impede this flow but not moving cyclists? This attitude is clearly a result of clinging to the status quo and not recognizing the absolutely essential nature of the bicycle in our city's transit plan of the future."

And that's really the big point here. I wish that we lived in a world with infinite resources and a teflon climate. I wish we could act however we wanted and not completely undermine our happiness and well-being through the destruction of our life-systems, including a stable climate. Unfortunately, that's not the case. We have to get people off fossil fuels in order to avert climate change, and people are going to be forced off fossil fuels as the price of oil continues to climb."

Those of us who are actually paying attention would appreciate it if the rest of you would either wake up and join us or just get out of our way. While you warn of the process being hijacked by a few special interests, we already know what it's like to experience that. It's very sad that a few noisy people who are totally out in left field can pipe up to block much needed progress in this city. We aren't going to let that happen this time. This city needs these bike lanes. You can thank us in 5 years when you can't afford to drive anymore." (emphasis added)

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19 Comments:

At 11:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well stated, Mr. Fitzgibbons.

 
At 11:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're drafting this guy to run for Mayor in SF.

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger Morganic said...

Thanks for the dap, Rob. Honestly, I'm surprised you didn't find out about us sooner. Put us on your poster for the "Cute Movement."

I will admit I got a little caught up in it all with that "get out of our way" part (which I acknowledged later in the comment section), but the reality is we aren't going to let some misguided souls stand in the way of the changes we have to create in order to build a sustainable and equitable society for all.

 
At 1:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Substitute "cars" for "bikes" and see how you feel. Nobody minds the special interest steamroller when they're driving it.

If the game is to win for your side at all costs, great. You'll get your opposition soon enough.

Biking is not for everyone. If you're going to be dicks about it, and take away parking and traffic lanes, don't be surprised when ballot measures requiring cyclists to be licensed and pay registration fees get taxed, and don't be surprised when the local economy takes a hit because the lack of parking and slow-ass traffic means nobody shops here anymore.

 
At 1:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Biking is not for everyone" says the lazy American.

"Substitute "cars" for "bikes" and see how you feel. Nobody minds the special interest steamroller when they're driving it."

And where have you been the last 70 years?

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's plenty of parking in Vallejo, and it's in the shitter. All the parking in the world cannot replace good products, services, retail, etc...

San Francisco gets to focus on livable streets because the City produces things people want. For the last ten years the howls of protests have come from the Suburbs that "I will never go to SF again", but it NEVER HAPPENS. Frankly, the suburban coupon clippers who want threaten to not come to SF to eat out if they have to pay $6 to park - we DON'T WANT THEIR BUSINESS. They will monopolize a table and split an entree and stiff the waiter. They can go to the fucking Olive Garden in Danville for all I - and the restaurants in SF - care.

 
At 2:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Europeans once again leading the way...

http://www.businessinsider.com/vilnius-mayor-arturas-zuoka-lithuania-tank-bike-2011-8

 
At 2:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was just on the 43 headed towards Geary and a guy on a bicycle was struck by a car turning left onto Masonic from Fell at full speed. The cyclist flew in the air. l'm looking for news of his health. Is this the spot you're talking about?

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Biking improves local economies http://www.grist.org/biking/2011-02-28-how-bicycling-will-save-the-economy

 
At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I support bike lanes, but wish cyclists would obey the traffic laws that come with those complete streets. No, you cant just blast through a red-light!

 
At 5:18 PM, Anonymous Apple Sauce Joe said...

ROCK AND ROLL!!! Don't let the goat people get you down, riders. A new city is here. Goats like Rob will be gone soon enough. Fear not, and ride on!

 
At 8:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, dehumanize the enemy! Call them names! Broad-brush! Line 'em up against the wall! Our new regime will clean the filth from this city!

Zero Tolerance! One City! Two Wheels!

 
At 10:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Morganic, I wouldn't bother trying to reason with Rob. He is on a mission from god to snuff out cycling in the city to the best of his ability (which thankfully, isn't much).

He takes anything remotely inflammatory and runs with it like the bomb is coming. Because to him, for some unknown reason, a bicycle signals the end times.

 
At 1:01 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You bike dudes don't do the reason thing very well, but you do the lame anonymous comment very well.

Morgan's comment is relevant to the Panhandle issue, since it nicely illustrates the arrogant attitude so many of you have, seasoned with a few Big Thoughts about Peak Oil.

Along with that kind of arrogance, the issue in SF has always been taking away traffic lanes and street parking on busy streets to make bike lanes, not "to snuff out cycling in the city," a bit of goofy hyperbole by still another remedial reader on two wheels.

 
At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see, all ROW has been dedicated to cars for the past 70 years. A couple streets and less than 100 (out of several thousand) parking spaces will be impacted by bike improvements and the world will end.

Want to talk about hyperbole?

It seems to many of us that Rob is afraid to give even an inch because he knows that cycling will catch on like wildfire. Traffic will actually flow better with more people on bikes, but Rob has some perverse aversion to cycling so it is evil, end of story.

There is no war or jihad or anything of the sort. We are talking about less than 2% of total ROW space having any cycling improvements, this is so minor the fact that Rob is freaking out is testament to how amazing and painfully ignorant he is.

 
At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares about Rob. The Republicans could say no. Rob has no filibuster. He can whine, but he will lose 90% of the time. The other 10% we'll just get later.

If we're wrong, time will tell. I prefer to try my experiment to Rob's failed status quo.

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

You bike guys are real windbags. Not a verifiable fact in all these comments. Riding bikes "will catch on like wildfire"? One of the things that's odd about you bike people---and SFStreetsblog and Bike Nopa---is that you ignore documents that, given your interest in cycling, you should be interested in, like the City of San Francisco Bicycle Count Report of 2010. Rachel Gordon wrote about it in the Chronicle last December, and I wrote about it last January.

Based on that report and previous reports, it's fair to conclude that the great bike revolution may have already peaked here in Progressive Land.

The comment about percentage of right of way is off the mark, since that's not how street design can possibly work. To make a bike lane, you need five feet of space, which means either a traffic lane or street parking has to be eliminated first. Street space is a zero-sum game in San Francisco, since the space between sidewalks is almost always limited.

The Fell/Oak Street issue and the redesign of other city streets won't be decided by me or a few anonymous commenters to my blog. City Hall is making those decisions, and they are constrained by factors---like neighborhood businesses, public opinion in general, and political context---that are not even acknowledged by you guys.

Will the people of San Francisco allow City Hall to jam up traffic on Fell and Oak to make bike lanes? And, while they're at it, nearby Masonic Avenue?

The question Scott James asked is no doubt still reverberating through the cubicles at the MTA: Has the city done any outreach to city motorists, that is, those who will be most affected by these projects? These three streets are not only important to San Francisco, but they are also of regional significance to the whole Bay Area.

Now the MTA---and its new bike guy leader---can ignore the interests of motorists and proceed as if the question had never been asked. But Ed Reiskin is an experienced bureaucrat who understands that he ultimately serves a public, which, if the plans proceed, might awake to what bike nuttery is doing to city streets and not like it much.

 
At 9:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the people of San Francisco allow City Hall to jam up traffic on Fell and Oak to make bike lanes? And, while they're at it, nearby Masonic Avenue?

Yes.

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Maybe. It's too soon to tell.

 

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